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British Lawmakers: "If a product looks like gambling and feels like gambling, it should be regulated"

btarunr

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A U.K. House of Lords empowered committee called for video games with loot crates (aka loot boxes) to be classified as games of chance and "immediately" brought under the country's stringent gambling regulations under the Gambling Act 2005. "If a product looks like gambling and feels like gambling, it should be regulated as gambling," the committee says in its report, cited by the BBC. "The government must act immediately to bring loot boxes within the remit of gambling legislation and regulation," stated one of its members.

The report has sparked a debate in the U.K. about whether the Gambling Act 2005 is up to the task when dealing with contemporary and new forms of gambling, especially one with potentially billions of Pounds in market size. Lord Michael Grade, chair of the committee, in an interview with the BBC highlighted how several other countries already identify loot crates as a form of gambling as "they can see the dangers" which is teaching "kids to gamble." He argued that the Gambling Act can regulate video game loot crates without needing any legislation in the way of amendments.



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finally. lets hope they do it right.
 
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Meanwhile some idiots are applauding 2Ks announcement that their next gen titles will cost $70.
 
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The genie's already out of the bottle.
 

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Long overdue. They really should take a look at some of the sharper dlc/in-app purchase practices next. Dead or Alive skins leap to mind...
 
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I don't know why you all get excited, the fact that this stuff might get regulated will mean almost nothing to anyone. It's not like lootboxes will go away, the reason they are trying to include this in the same category with gambling is so that they can get taxed in the same way. That's all there is to it.
 
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Yes, I'm so sick of all this RNG lootbox. I've falling into the trap myself once and spends thousands. When you complain to the developer something is broken, they censored you in their forums. Most of this high gross game has a very shady business model.
 

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I don't know why you all get excited, the fact that this stuff might get regulated will mean almost nothing to anyone. It's not like lootboxes will go away, the reason they are trying to include this in the same category with gambling is so that they can get taxed in the same way. That's all there is to it.
This places all games having loot boxes in the 18+ category. That's a lot of lost sales, it may curb the practice.
 
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Meanwhile some idiots are applauding 2Ks announcement that their next gen titles will cost $70.
Many titles cost normal amount.
Many said titles have no compromises and no loot boxes, not even dlc content, playd a lot of titles like it lately.
Even EA games managed to do it, granted it was a good 60$ game but Fallen Order didn't have any purchaseable content
 
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Kids fall prey to in-app purchases especially in games end up spending huge sums of money.
Ah. I can see why that would be a problem, then.
 
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Oh no, where will Bobby Kotick, Strauss Zelnick and Andrew Wilson get the money for their new Ferraris now?

Seriously, this is long overdue. But once again, governments worldwide are way too slow to act while the greedy executives and shareholders take players for a ride.
 

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Eh, why are those a problem?
In app purchases definitely need some kind of regulation, anyone with a young kid knows why.

IAP's arent an issue in general, but free games where all content is paywalled is literally just gambling in another form (play the game for X levels, have fun, PAY TO WIN NOW HAHAHA)
 
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I don't know why you all get excited, the fact that this stuff might get regulated will mean almost nothing to anyone. It's not like lootboxes will go away, the reason they are trying to include this in the same category with gambling is so that they can get taxed in the same way. That's all there is to it.
As bug said, it instantly reclassifies lootbox saturated "games" like lottery tickets / casinos in that they'll have an +18 / AO rating slapped on them plus advertising restrictions (eg, it's be just as illegal to advertise lootbox games to kids as it is lottery tickets / casinos), etc, which reduces sales. Likewise, it's also possible the next-gen consoles will either come with (or eventually have added) the ability of parent to buy a console and then filter out lootbox games during setup so you can't buy (or even see) them. The more countries do this, in the end it becomes an order of magnitude more likely that the developers will simply remove the gamblng stuff which benefits everyone when they go back to making games that actually feel like finished games and not digital casinos with a half-rental game tacked on the side...

Eh, why are those a problem?
It was never a good thing that full priced PC games should try and emulate the dumb "Freemium" side of the Google Play Store by gating off content behind grind-centric pay2unlock / pay2levelup. That's what a lot of "Time saver" / "Booster Pack" based IAP's either are or are working towards becoming. Even flash games have suffered. Eg, 15 years ago we could buy Match 3 games like Bejeweled for £5 outright on PC for laptops / netbooks. Today, "Candy Crush Saga" is exactly the same game reskinned and overly monetized to the tune of +£20 for IAP based "unlock / timers / coins", etc rentals. It's not gambling in the lootbox sense, but it is still massive dumbing down and it was already bad enough on mobile stores before it infected the PC gaming market like the cancer it is.

These mechanics don't just exist in a game in a vacuum, the game itself will often be built around them. Eg, if a game has the 'option' of paying to unlock x via a "Time Saver" IAP, the more likely it is that the core mechanics of the game will be made to be significantly more artificially grindy than normal (how it would be designed without IAP's) for those who unlock it without paying. It's always been a total myth that "If I don't buy them, they don't affect me", and the number of people complaining about how tediously grindy modern games have become is no accident.
 
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Life is a gamble, get over it people....
 
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In app purchases definitely need some kind of regulation, anyone with a young kid knows why.
I wonder why would parents trust their children with their credit card data...
 
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I wonder why would parents trust their children with their credit card data...
Or why games save credit card details so when Junior jumps on the game he can mindlessly spend not knowing it's not part of the game.
At least in Australia, children are not liable for spending on their parents CC's in gaming.

But back to the topic of gambling in games, loot boxes are a known form of gambling as the chance of getting what you want is limited, so multiple attempts may have to be made before you get what you were after, as opposed to buying a set item in an in game store.
 
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